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February 21, 2017

Visa targets London’s financial services with innovation centre launch

Visa opens up it's APIs for the company's Developer Platform.

By James Nunns

Amid on-going fears of a talent exodus from the financial services sector in London, Visa has chosen the capital to open an innovation centre.

The Visa Innovation Centre London, which is located at its European HQ in Paddington Basin, is billed as an immersive environment where Visa can work with financial institutions, merchants and other partners in order to develop the next generation of payment solutions.

The 1,000+ square metre space, which the company says is the largest in its network of innovation centres, will feature things like practical demonstrations of tech related to the Internet of Things in connected car and connected home environments, for example, being able to pay for your shopping from the fridge, or paying for car insurance from your car.

In a continued drive to boost innovation in the area, or at least to align itself more closely with the innovators, Visa is also making its Developer Platform more open to fintech developers.

The payments giant has made it possible for developers to select from an initial set of Visa payment APIs, SDKs, and documentation to create the next generation of commerce applications.

The pieces in the puzzle are starting to fit together for Visa, which is hoping to solve “real world, consumer pain points,” rather than some theoretical application.

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The centre in London is part of a global effort from the company to help foster innovation in the area. Already it has centres in Berlin, Dubai, Miami, San Francisco, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tel Aviv.

Read more: The open banking revolution – what does it mean for fintechs and banks?

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business, said: “London is a global fintech leader because we have been able to combine our traditional strength in financial services with our growing talent for tech and our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

“As a successful fintech entrepreneur myself, I understand that quite often businesses need a little bit of help to turn the kernel of a good idea into something truly transformative. I am therefore delighted that Visa is launching this new innovation center in London, bolstering our flourishing global tech and fintech reputation and proving that London is open to great ideas and innovation.”

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